Today is my stop on the tour for The Childless Ones, the debut novel of Cam Rhys Lay! “The Childless Ones” will be released November 12, but you can preorder your copy now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Check out my review and good luck in the giveaway!
TWO WORLDS…TWO ALTERNATING NARRATIVES…A REALIST RELATIONSHIP DRAMA…AN EPIC FANTASY…
In the “real world,” we open with Jack Ampong just leaving a prostitute when he receives a phone call that his wife Sarah has been assaulted. With this incident as a jumping off point, we watch as Jack and Sarah deal with past guilt and regrets as well as their own ongoing struggles with relationships, infertility and parenthood.
In the “fantasy world”—ostensibly written by Jack—a bureaucratic Empire rules with an iron fist…an ancient sect of sorcerers have extraordinary powers but are cursed with the inability to have children… and a race of beings called the Mandrakar live lives one quarter the length of normal people, but have memories that are passed on to future generations through the last of an ancient breed of tree. Along the way, we meet a crotchety governor who just wants to do right by his granddaughter, a hardboiled, lesbian, dwarf detective who just wants another drink, and a villainous sorcerer whose motives form one of the central mysteries of the story.
Throughout the book, the two narratives echo off one another—often in surprising ways—ultimately commenting on the very nature of storytelling itself.
impressively creates two vivid worlds, each with its own history and compelling characters, while also offering a meditation on the relationship between creativity, fertility, and shared memory. A stunning fantasy debut. — Kirkus Reviews
Amazon (Preorder) | Barnes and Noble (Preorder) | Add it on Goodreads
When I finished reading The Childless Ones, I couldn’t believe it was a debut novel. It was such a creative and vivid story, that really shows off Cam Rhys Lay’s talent.
What I found most fascinating about this book was the two very different worlds, and how well they worked separately and together. We have the real world and the fantasy world, both vividly described with compelling characters.
I think The Childless Ones is a book you need to experience foryourself. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read and I’m so impressed that it is a debut novel. The characters are so compelling and real. The themes are also very real and relatable. This was just an overall great read that I might need to read again in the future.
Cam Rhys Lay received his Bachelors Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from the University of Kansas. For five years, he worked as an Associate Publisher at The Easton Press in Connecticut. Currently he lives in Brooklyn, New York where he runs marketing for Skillshare, an online learning community for creators. The Childless Ones is his first book. To learn more about Cam and his writing, please visit him at camrhyslay.com.